The Quincunx

Wow, this incredibly dense work is a true masterpiece. Remarkably detailed and emotionally rich, it tells the story of a young man who discovers his mysterious family heritage through the labyrinthine intrigues that he accidentally stumbles into as he comes of age. If you like complex stories, this book's for you. I have to admit that I skimmed parts, because the complexity of the intrigues became too much for me to follow.

Gentlemen of the Road

A short, quick read by Michael Chabon. I read it on the first part of a cross-country plane trip. The funniest comment about it comes from Chabon himself: the working title was "Jews With Swords". If you have some time to do some entertaining reading, this book is worth the time.

The Jasons

I finished this dry but historically interesting work about a group of US-government science advisors. It was fascinating in part because I work with one of the Jasons (I guess that's sort of like voyeurism, but hey, I'm human). The Jasons did some really influential work a few decades ago; they've become less focused as a group since then (the book describes several reason as to the causes, such as a necessary broadening of expertise and a widening of the issues that the military is concerned about). Probably some of the more recent work is classified, as well, although the wikipedia page lists some of the unclassified reports available on the web.

Kum Gang San

We had pretty good Korean food at this restaurant in Koreatown. Good food, if not the cheapest Korean food in the area. I'd rank it below our favorite Korean restaurant, Natural Tofu.

Hellboy II

Another superhero film: 2008 sure has seen a lot of them, and Batman hasn't even come out yet!

Overall, an entertaining film. Who would have expected music by Barry Manilow in a Hellboy movie? It was more of a team-oriented film than the first one: Hellboy was not even close to being the central character of the film (although he is, of course, key to the story).

Il Laboratorio Del Gelato

Some of the best gelato in NYC. What else do you need to know?

Lovejoy Season 3

We started watching the third season of Lovejoy, which just came out on DVD recently. Apparently the BBC is slowly turning out DVDs of their old shows. Ian McShane is great to watch (we saw him on Broadway in The Homeconing this year, and loved him in the HBO show Deadwood).

This series is fine TV: I recommend it highly. The 3rd season had much more intricate plotting than the first 2 seasons; I'll let you decide which you prefer.

We Would Have Played For Nothing

I've slowly been reading this collection of interviews with old baseball stars from the mid-20th century. Entertaining reading, if you're into baseball.

In Bruges

An odd little film about some killers who wind up in Bruges. (For those of you who haven't been there, Bruges is a tourist town in Belgium that I found remarkably boring when I visited it in 1988.) A fantastic cast, though. I have mixed feelings about the movie: entertaining in a dark way, and an enjoyable-to-watch cast, but also really bizarre.

The movie has some relationships to one of Harold Pinter's plays, which aptly describes the bizarreness in the story.

Sex and the City

I didn't think this movie would be that good, but it actually was! The beginning was like a long fashion shoot/wedding planner's dream, and had no useful plot or character development. But then things get interesting: definitely a movie that was worth watching.


A fine Pixar film that we decided to watch after seeing Wall-E. There is one particularly moving scene where the critic Anton Ego is fed some ratatouille made by Remy. Ego flashes back to his mother's cooking, in an amazingly designed shot. Other than that, I thought that the movie was entertaining and worth watching, if a little predictable.

Dos Caminos

Fancy Mexican restaurant in NY. They make fresh guacamole near your table, which was tasty (although not the best guacamole I have ever had). Overall, a worthwhile experience, but I tend to prefer hole-in-the-wall taquerias to fancy Mexican restaurants.